Hiku: The Shopping List Application That Finally Replaced the Notepad on My Refrigerator

Web_hiku-iPhone5_440x555The magnetized notepad on the door of my refrigerator is within arms reach when I use the last of the milk. Whereas a digital shopping application struggles with trading one form of convenience for another. I’m proud to say that a product called Hiku has become the supreme overlord of list-making in my household for the past three months. Simplicity, convenience, and well thought-out product design meets the actual shopping needs of real people with hectic schedules, kids, and multiple shoppers in the same household.

If you are like my family we always struggle with remembering what we need from the store when we are at the store. Sure, I have a list on the refrigerator of the things we ran out of but I’m at the store now and can’t remember half the items on the list. I have different list-making applications on my phone but I didn’t have my phone on me when we ran out of baking powder. When we ran out of peanut butter my phone was in my pocket but I couldn’t open the app because my hands were covered with the last of the peanut butter from scraping out the very bottom of the jar with a spatula. I’m happy to say these are no longer reasons for not having an up-to-date shopping list.

Hiku is comprised of two key components that makes for a winning combination. A small wireless device with barcode scanning and speech-to-text  features and a mobile application installed on the mobile device of each person in the household that does shopping.

Barcode Scanning: The wireless barcode scanner has a rubberized magnet on one side so it can live next to the notepad on the door of your fridge or whiteboard. It scans items and beams the data out to the Hiku cloud service over your home wireless network. This syncs with the mobile application on your smartphone or tablet (currently only available for iOS for the initial release) so you always have the most up-to-date list. Anybody in the family can scan items and it will get added to the list.

Speech-to-Text: The Hiku scanning device has an integrated microphone that lets you add labels for unfamiliar barcodes that can’t be found in the database. Each Hiku user is helping fill-in-the-blanks for every other Hiku user in the world. You can also add items to your list by just holding down the scan button and say the name of the item you want and it magically shows up on your default shopping list within the mobile app.

Managing Multiple Lists: You can have multiple shopping lists within the mobile application, this gives you the ability to have a wide variety of lists based on situation, specific stores, or types of stores. You can have the same item appear on multiple lists so the first place you buy the item it crosses it off the other lists.

Conclusion: Hiku is one of the best products I’ve reviewed because everybody has to go shopping for things when you’re running low on food, house supplies, office supplies, or keeping lists for gift ideas. This is a shopping list app that will actually have a fighting chance of replacing the shopping list notepads and whiteboards in your kitchen.

  • No ongoing fees
  • Simple to use
  • Syncs between devices
  • Create lists for just about anything

What is your shopping list experience? Here are a few of my favorites that I don’t do anymore.

  • Texting me a list of items to buy when at the store.
  • If my wife is at home I have her take a picture of the list on the refrigerator and text that to me.
  • Losing the list somewhere between leaving the house and getting to the store.
  • Find that our shopping list has been turned into a napkin or an art project.
  • Being unable to read what I wrote two weeks ago because I was in a rush.

About Ryan Carlson

Father, Husband, GeekDad of 3 Girls, and a Glass Explorer. A Technologist for The Nerdery by day and an Alpha Geek by night: Wargaming / Painting, LEGO, Roleplaying, Board Games, Podcasting, and Writing.

About Ryan Carlson

Father, Husband, GeekDad of 3 Girls, and a Glass Explorer. A Technologist for The Nerdery by day and an Alpha Geek by night: Wargaming / Painting, LEGO, Roleplaying, Board Games, Podcasting, and Writing.

2 thoughts on “Hiku: The Shopping List Application That Finally Replaced the Notepad on My Refrigerator

  1. Thank you. I have tried a few. Mostly now I use google keep, but I usually just end up “shopping with my brain” and that works okay except for the one thing I forget. I have been looking for a barcode scanning app to make lists with.

    • I just checked my iOS App Store account and I have 7 list-making apps that I’ve tried. The very closest one was Zenbee Lists since it had both App and website access (thus allowing my wife and I to sync lists). The missing puzzle piece was the scanning stuff in context (when I’m already in the fridge and would have written the note on our whiteboard or notepad) and more important when my phone was on the other side of the house charging at my standing desk.

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